The embattled actor has found himself under increased scrutiny in the past 10 months after dozens of women came forward with decades-old allegations of rape and inappropriate behaviour.

Cosby, who has never been charged with any sex crime, has continued to deny the claims through his attorneys, but the controversy took a new turn in early July (15), when his deposition in a 2005 sex abuse lawsuit leaked, revealing the actor had admitted to obtaining sedatives to give to women he wanted to sleep with.

The news prompted U.S. network bosses to cease broadcasting reruns of The Cosby Show, and although producer Tom Werner admits the series is "kind of tarnished" now, he hopes that will change with time.

Werner tells, "I do think the show is one of the most groundbreaking shows in television. Hopefully people can distinguish between the show and Bill. I think about all the great episodes that we've done and the impact that it had. I'm certainly hoping that people can continue to watch it."

He adds, "Certainly it's a challenge right now (to watch The Cosby Show). But I'm hoping that time will pass and that all the great acting and the great stories and the memorable moments will still be able to be viewed."

Werner and his producing partner Marcy Carsey previously only briefly commented on the scandal when it hit headlines last autumn (15), stating, "The Bill we know was a brilliant and wonderful collaborator on a show that changed the landscape of television. These recent news reports are beyond our knowledge or comprehension."

The Cosby Show originally aired for eight seasons from 1984 to 1992.